To the editor: With the alarm sounded by United Nations officials ahead of the climate summit in Madrid this week, one wonders what it will take to get countries (especially the United States under the Trump administration) actually to reduce their emissions and back off their dependence on fossil fuels. How many floods, super storms, record wildfires, years of drought and deaths from heat and respiratory illnesses will it take?
On what do the fossil fuel companies think they’re going to spend their vast wealth if our planet is not suitable for human habitation? Is there anything judged worthwhile to these corporations besides money and power?
It’s wonderful for aware individuals to change their lifestyles to reduce their carbon footprints. But how many aware individuals are there who are willing to make sacrifices for the good of the planet? And would it make a difference if most of them did?
Of course it would help, but not nearly enough. This problem may require total financial collapse.
Cher Gilmore, Newhall
To the editor: At first glance, the photo of a car-clogged freeway in Beijing with this article looked like the images of the congested 5 Freeway full of Angelenos departing for Thanksgiving we’ve been seeing. We’ll see the same pictures of streams of cars headed to Christmas destinations next month and before Thanksgiving in 2020.
But the “quick wins on climate” need to start showing up, the U.N. says, in 2020 — and specifically in that year, not the whole decade of the 2020s. We cannot procrastinate.
Maybe the pictures of Thanksgiving 2030 will be different, but by then it will be too late, and I doubt even that year’s exodus will look different. From here, it looks like there‘s no hope for 2040, or for every year, decade and century thereafter.
Gregory Wright, Sherman Oaks